In collaboration with the Jockey Club Make a Difference School, the Good Lab and Kennisland, the first Social Lab in Hong Kong will take place from 15 to 22 August. Together with citizens, government officials, policy makers and students from all over Asia we will work in two lab teams.
During this LabSprint, the teams will work on two different cases:
- The first team focuses on homeless people in ++LocationClick here for more information on Sham Shui Po., one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Hong Kong. The main question we ask ourselves, the homeless inhabitants of Sham Shui Po, professionals and policymakers is: “What is it like to be homeless in Sham Shui Po?”.
- The second team will focus on lonely elderly in Sham Shui Po. The main question we ask ourselves here, along with (lonely) elderly, professionals and policymakers is: “What is it like to be alone as an elderly person in Sham Shui Po?”.
Of course, getting an answer to these questions is only half of our work in the LabSprint. The ++Feed ForwardRead more about our Feed Forward methodology in ‘Lab Practice’, our latest paper. will be all about brainstorming, generating ideas, prototyping and testing of possible solutions for the problems that either the homeless or the lonely elderly experience.
The living conditions of part of the inhabitants of Sham Shui Po are unbearable. While reading up on this, we were greatly distressed by the stories that came to us and the photos that we saw. During our work in Social Labs here in the Netherlands, we heard some sad and heavy stories of lonely elderly, homeless or drug addicted youth and ex-prisoners. However, we feel that the living conditions here are little comparable to those in Sham Shui Po.
We do not believe that a LabSprint like ours can fix major problems that a high number of citizens experience in a district like Sham Shui Po, especially not in just one week. But we do believe that we can show policymakers, professionals and citizens on a small scale how they can meet each other, better understand each other and adjust their behavior accordingly. We also think that these unusual encounters could lead to new ways of tackling smaller social issues, which in turn can lead to more insights in tackling the major problems like poverty, poor housing conditions and homelessness. The LabSprint can be seen as a step along the way of creating change and impact, in which participants can use the insights they obtain during the week in their work, studies, or out in the field.The LabSprint can be seen as a step along the way of creating change and impact, in which participants can use the insights they obtain during the week in their work, studies, or out in the field. Can we imagine citizens in Hong Kong becoming active agents in positive social change? Both the Good Lab and Kennisland are excited to address this question in Sham Shui Po.
Follow the stories and updates from the lab teams on the Medium blog and via #sociallabHK.